Forget swiping right on Tinder. If you’re not showing up to your date’s doorstep in a horse and carriage, you’re doing something wrong.
It’s “The Bachelorette” by way of “Bridgerton” on NBC’s new dating show “The Courtship,” which premieres Sunday, March 6 at 8 pm. The show follows Nicole Rémy, a Seattle-based engineer and former Seattle Seahawks NFL dancer, and 16 suitors who go all-out with old-fashioned flourishes to charm her.
Unlike regular dating shows, it’s set against the backdrop of a Jane Austen-like setting: They’re in Castle Howard in the rolling hills of England. All the men dress like Mr. Darcy — in cravats and waistcoats — while Rémy dons hats and gowns, and they engage in activities such as ballroom dancing and traditional lawn sports including croquet, cricket and archery.
“It’s not easy to do everything with a floor-length dress, I’m not used to that,” Rémy, 26, told The Post of her unusual wardrobe.
But she quickly got into the spirit of the show.
“Meeting people in an environment where chivalry is at the forefront felt more real,” she said. “People today don’t take the time to really woo you in a way that we saw more of during the courting process in Regency times. It was cool to think, ‘What would Jane Austen do right now? How would she write my story?’ There were times where I was like, ‘Jane, please help.’ †
On “The Courtship,” Rémy periodically sends unsatisfactory suitors home, whittling their numbers down until she finds the one. And just like on “Bridgerton,” the romances began with the suitors lining up to meet Rémy’s parents.
Contestant Daniel Bochicchio, 31, a real estate agent from Staten Island, told The Post that he actually enjoyed getting this insight into Rémy.
“The fact that I was able to meet Nicole’s parents sooner than later on, I liked that,” he said. He plans to bring dates home to meet his mother a lot sooner now. “In the future, whoever I’m with — or if it’s Nicole — if my mom and brother approve of her, that would be great.”
Anachronistic texting is also a no-no on “The Courtship.” Instead, suitors were expected to write Rémy letters — in perfect calligraphy.
“Oh God, let me tell you, I haven’t written a love letter probably since before high school,” Giuseppe Castronovo, 27, a pizzeria owner from Point Pleasant, NJ, told The Post. “It was definitely different than sending a ‘What are you doing?’ text at 2 am after a night at the club.”
But he also got into it. “It’s completely out of the ordinary from today’s day and age,” said Castronovo. “You almost never read a handwritten letter. You really had to be your true self and put it all out there . † † you had such limited time to make her fall for you, or laugh. It really made you appreciate the time more.”
Rémy said she loved being showered with handwritten sentiments.
“I thought it was so beautiful that we used that form of communication. We’re so used to sending quick texts or DMs, but we don’t really sit down and think about how we genuinely feel and write those feelings out.”
But surely, real-life millennial men balked at dressing like the Regé Jean-Page’s Duke of Hastings, right?
“It grew on me,” said Bochicchio. “I kind of felt weird after coming home [from the show] and not putting on a cravat and a dinner coat. But at first, I wasn’t fond of the look; I thought I looked silly. But, as I started wearing it more and getting reactions from people on set — everybody was boosting our egos — I was like, ‘Hey, I like these looks.’ †
Castronovo was less conflicted about it.
“I have two sisters and about a hundred girl cousins, so I always watched ‘Pride and Prejudice’ growing up, and I binged ‘Bridgerton’ on the flight over to England,” Castronovo said. “The outfits were so cool, it looked so Regency suave . † † If wardrobe let me take my outfits home, I can guarantee you’d see pictures of me out at clubs wearing it.”
“I think more men should be wearing tights when they go out to clubs,” he added.